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Cause of DeSoto derailment still not known, as Highway 35 remains closed



The cause of a large train derailment last Thursday in Crawford County is still being investigated.

The county will keep part of Highway 35 near the accident scene closed until further notice, as the cleanup of the site continues.

About a dozen rail cars, including engines, went off the BNSF track at DeSoto on Thursday afternoon.

Four railroad employees were evaluated for injuries. Hazmat teams reportedly have removed all hazardous materials from the accident area. The train had been carrying some lithium batteries and paint, according to BNSF.

Traffic may be detoured at least through Wednesday in the area of the accident. Emergency officials say the old Highway 35 route, to the east of the current 35, is closed to through traffic, but people living along that road can still use it.

Crews have secured the two container cars that began floating away in the Mississippi River after the train derailed. BNSF Railway spokesperson Lena Kent said an absorbent boom was put in place to reduce the possibility of pollution.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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